Britain's Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970

Elton, Benjamin J.
Date published: 
June 2014

This book presents a radical new interpretation of Britain’s Chief Rabbis from Nathan Adler to Immanuel Jakobovits. It examines the theologies of the Chief Rabbis and seeks to reveal and explain their impact on the religious life of Anglo-Jewry. Elton overturns the argument that there was a significant shift to the right in the Chief Rabbinate during the period studied, and thereby sets out a new interpretation of the most important event in Anglo-Jewish religious history in the twentieth century, the Jacobs affair. This fascinating study develops a new and improved typology of the Jewish response to modernity, and is therefore a contribution to the neglected area of Anglo-Jewish religious history, and the history of modern Judaism as a whole. It will be an essential resource for those studying Judaism in the modern period or the effects of modernity on religion.